For many of us, the beginning of the year is the perfect time to address our previous year’s to-do list and set goals moving forward. It’s a great way to refocus on your key priorities for the year ahead. Whether professionally or personally, “New Year’s Resolutions” are a ritual most of us participate in (or at least think about!), and look forward to with hope for growth in the coming year. So as you reflect on 2018 and put together your list of resolutions for 2019, consider these 5 small changes you can make to improve your well-being, both in and out of the office.
5 Seconds to Positivity
Think positively for 5 seconds. As a small- to mid-sized business, you’re constantly under stress. As a result, it’s imperative for you to do more with less. Think about everything on your plate. Staying on top of recent changes – business and regulatory – in your state and industry, keeping employees happy and motivated, the list goes on…
It’s easy to get bogged down and give in to negativity. So try this simple trick: when presented with an issue, take five seconds to reflect before you react. Five seconds doesn’t seem very long, but it’s long enough to reframe the issue in a positive light or catch your breath and return to your company’s mission and core values. Try it for a few weeks and before long, it will become a habit. Once you’ve mastered the practice for yourself, you can train your team to do the same.
Say thanks. In the flurry of everyday life, we often forget to thank the very people who make our successes possible: our employees. Some organizations choose to recognize employees through year-end bonuses or holiday gifts and cards. That’s great! But if those options aren’t feasible, there are simpler alternatives that work just as well.
Try writing your employees a quick email thanking them for their contributions. If you can include something specific and personal about the employee’s individual contribution and connect it to your organization’s mission or goals, it will mean even more. Want to take this a step further? Grab some notecards and sharpies and put up a board where your employees can write these recognitions and kudos for all to see!
In our increasingly tech-infused world, finding time to unplug and be present is more important now than ever. Resolve to put down your phone and turn off your email. When an employee walks in to discuss an issue with you, turn off your computer monitor and give them your full attention.
With so many avenues of communication these days, if your employee is taking the time to speak with you face to face, it’s because that person really values your personal attention and insights. It may be difficult to focus exclusively on their issue, but doing so will make the conversation more efficient, reduce the risk of a miscommunication, and strengthen your relationship with that person.
Find Your Word
A recent blog post by Jon Gordon deconstructed the “New Year’s Resolution” mentality, suggesting a more effective alternative to a list of resolutions: one word. Gordon writes,
One word sticks! Eight years ago I stopped making New Year’s resolutions and started picking one word for the upcoming year. No resolutions, no goals… just one word that gives meaning, mission, passion, and purpose. One word that will help me be my best.
This takes some reflection. What do you want to focus on this year? What is holding you back? Once you choose your word – or more likely, once it chooses you! – Gordon suggests creating a painting of your word or writing it on a rock to keep somewhere visible as a reminder throughout the year. The key is to keep it front of mind so you can see it and live it.
Keep It Simple
Chances are you’ve probably heard the statistics that only 9.2% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions. (With over 80% failing by February!) The question is, how do you find yourself in that top 10%? As much as people may say that goal-setting doesn’t work, that’s not exactly true. What doesn’t work is poor goal-setting. Simplicity is key, so make sure to keep it simple to stay on track:
- Your goal is only as attainable as it is specific. Consider the common resolution “I want to lose weight”. At what point will you know you’ve achieved it? When you’ve lost half a pound? 5 pounds? 25 pounds? And by when? And for how long? In order to actually see the changes you want to make in your life, your goals need to be as specific and measurable as possible.
- Use time to your advantage. A year is a long time a way, making it easy to put off working towards your goals. Instead, create a sense of urgency by breaking out your goal into short-term increments. It’ll keep you mission-driven and vastly improve your odds of making these goals a reality.
- Stick to your priorities. Don’t make a list of “resolutions” to improve every area of your life all at once. Instead, pick 1-3 goals that are truly a high priority for yourself. Instead of finding yourself burnt out and overwhelmed, focusing on a few simple, important changes will prove much more effective.
What do you think?
What are your thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions? Are you a big fan, or staunchly against them? How do you want to see yourself grow in the new year? We’d love to hear in the comments below! Want more of our top business tips and news? Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to make 2019 your best year yet!